an open letter to my students

A number of things I’ve been meaning to tell you:

a) Yes, I can tell that you’re surfing the internet on your iPhone in my class. And I can tell that you got your answer to one of my questions from Wikipedia. How, you ask? Well, normal people don’t use the expression “in a controlled scientific study” in casual discussion. And they don’t say “hegemony.” Unless they’re grad students (which, come to think of it, means that they are not normal people anyway).

b) Please eat some vegetables before you catch some sort of plague and give it to me, as students always do during midterms. Please!

c) Contrary to what you may think, physical presence in the classroom is not enough to pass the course. Not even with a C. Especially if you get drool on the desks–the staff just hates that.

d) If you e-mail me at 1:56 a.m., and I don’t respond by 6 a.m., you may safely wait to send another e-mail until, say, an hour when a reasonable person might actually be up. You know, like maybe noon. Or you might write an e-mail that actually tells me what you wanted in the first place; that would cut down on the back-and-forth.

e) I love your enthusiasm for the books we’re reading. Thanks for reminding me why these texts are exciting.

f) I think you might need a haircut.

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